Solutia Says It has Improved Its Customer Service Through Capital Improvements

St. Louis-based Solutia Inc. says it has been working for three years on improving customer service in its laminated glass interlayer (LGI) business through a program called "Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP II)" and it has finally reached this goal. With counseling from the global management consulting firm Oliver Wight, Solutia's LGI business has realized significant gains in terms of sustainable process improvements, customer service and business results since the 2000 MRP II kickoff.

The company cites the following improvements as proof of the improvements made by implementing the MRP II processes:

- On-time delivery against first promise is now consistently above 95 percent versus 90 percent in 2000;

- The company's restructured inventory approach ensures its inventory is more effective and allows for the right product at the right place at the right time;

- Solutia's LGI business has achieved an increased stability of manufacturing operations due to greater visibility of demand;

- There is an increased business strategy awareness at all levels of the organization;

- It has achieved cost reductions/cost avoidance of millions of dollars directly related to newly implemented MRP II processes; and

- It has seen an overall increase in customer satisfaction of nearly 2.5 points on a 1-10 scale and the best ratings in the marketplace.

"The successful implementation of MRP II and the attainment of Class A certification from Oliver Wight for our North American, European and Asian operations have allowed us to realize our strategy," said Solutia division supply chain manager Michael Lichtwardt. "In the past, despite our successes, our business strategy lacked integration. Now, we are in lockstep at all levels within the business with visible metrics. MRP II has allowed us to bring about changes that benefit our customers. And that's the bottom line."

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